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© Mr Peter Frederick Rushby LMPA

IoE Number: 485063
Location: CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST, HIGH STREET (east side)
  KEYNSHAM, BATH AND NORTH EAST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Photographer: Mr Peter Frederick Rushby LMPA
Date Photographed: 18 June 2000
Date listed: 27 February 1950
Date of last amendment: 27 February 1950
Grade II*

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KEYNSHAM ST6568 HIGH STREET 739-1/4/53 (East side) 27/02/50 Church of St John the Baptist II* Anglican parish church. c1250 in origin, 1390 south aisle and south porch, chancel rebuilt 1470, 1634-55 restoration after after collapse of tower and storm damage, including construction of west tower; 1863 restoration; 1951-7 roof restored; 1962-5 outer walls restored. Coursed and squared rubble with banded ashlar to tower, ashlar dressings and copings, plain clay tile roof to chancel, slate roof to nave. STYLE: Decorated and Perpendicular Gothic. PLAN: 8-bay nave with north and south aisles, chancel, west tower, south porch, south-east vestry. EXTERIOR: chancel has C19 Perpendicular style 2-centre arched east window with panelled tracery; north side has three C13 lancets, one blocked; ballflower decoration to cornice and buttresses with set-offs. South wall of chancel has single C13 lancet. Nave north side has buttresses with set-offs and battlemented parapet with weathered gargoyles below, polygonal turret for rood-loft staircase; 2-light C19 Early English Gothic style window with head stops to eastern bay, then 6 Perpendicular Gothic style pointed-arched windows with 3-light panelled tracery; central north doorway with plain moulded arch and plank door. 3-stage Gothic Survival style tower of c1634 with set-back buttresses, open trefoil parapet with blank arcading to corners surmounted by crocketed pinnacles. Lower stage has west doorway with plain moulded arch and 2-leaf framed door, 4-light Perpendicular Gothic window above. Second stage has 2 tiers of blind panelling with C19 cast-iron Gothic style clock face to west; upper stage has 2-light bell openings with Y-tracery and louvres; sundial to south face under bell openings. South-west wall of south aisle has 5-light Perpendicular Gothic style window and blocked doorway below. South aisle has blind parapet and 3-light Perpendicular Gothic style windows with dripstones, polygonal turret for rood-loft staircase; south porch has C19 openings but C14 statue niche above outer doorway and wrought-iron gates with quatrefoils; tierceron-vault inside on recarved corbel heads; C19 arch to church interior with 2-leaf C20 door. Small doorway at south-east corner with C19 plank door; 5-light Perpendicular Gothic style window to south-east wall. Chancel has one lancet. INTERIOR: C19 tie-beam roof to nave and similar mid C17 roofs to aisles but with quatrefoil and lozenge panels; all roofs supported on carved stone corbels. C19 hammer-beam roof to chancel. North arcade of 7 bays has piers of four-waves section; south arcade of 8 bays has octagonal piers with hollow mouldings. Perpendicular arch to tower, C19 arch to chancel. FITTINGS: nave has three 1717-21 brass chandeliers given by Ann Tilly; baluster stem font with circular bowl given by Harry Bridges in 1725 and further 1864 Perpendicular Gothic style octagonal font with wooden spired cover; c.1655 wooden pulpit with blind arcading and diamond-cut decoration; 1893 wooden eagle lectern. South aisle has section of mid C15 wooden rood screen which survived fall of north-east tower in 1632: 3-light divisions with panel tracery, leaf frieze, cresting and coving for the rood decorated with suns; burial hatchment high up on aisle wall. Chancel has further wooden screen which replaced original, now reset between chancel and vestry: colonnade of round-headed arches and centrepiece above with termini pilasters and an achievement of arms to Charles II (1665); choir stalls and altar rail of 1913. West tower has 5 benefaction/charity boards on south wall. MEMORIALS: wall memorials to north and south aisles, mostly C18 and C19, with one of 1659 to Joane Flower (of the Flowers of Saltford Manor, qv). Chancel north wall monument to Sir Henry Bridges, died 1587: recumbent effigy on tomb chest with caryatids, arched top on pillars, coats of arms on the back wall and small allegorical figures on the tops of the arches; south wall has monument to Sir Thomas Bridges, died 1661: hanging triptych with kneeling figure of Sir Thomas in centre, angels to the sides. The three parts are emphasised by 4 twisted columns which carry open segmental pediments and an apse vault over the centre with carved clouds and angels. Further C17 and C18 wall memorials to the Bridges family. STAINED GLASS: some C19 stained glass including tower window (1869); south aisle west window (1860); north aisle window in last bay to east (1876) and north aisle west window (1902); chancel north and east windows of 1961. HISTORICAL NOTE: west tower south wall has a copy of the 'Brief' of Charles I enabling the church to solicit help from other parishes after the fall of the north-east tower in 1632. The monument to Sir Thomas Bridges is similar in style to that at Rodney Stoke, Somerset to Sir Edward Rodney (died 1657); Sir Thomas's mother was a Rodney. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 210-212).

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